Persistent absence in schools: have your say

2 mins read

Thursday 2 February 2023

Tags: education, school, department for education, call for evidence, inquiry, absence, persistent absence

The education select committee has launched an inquiry into persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils in England.

The inquiry will examine the issue of persistent and severe absence and the factors causing it. And it will assess the likely impact and effectiveness of the Department of Education (DfE)’s proposed reforms on attendance.

To do this, the committee wants to hear your views on the subject and has launched a call for evidence.

Why is this important?

We know from government data that disabled pupils and those with special educational needs (SEN) are disproportionately represented in both absence and persistent absence figures.

What can I tell the inquiry?

The inquiry is looking at the factors causing persistent and severe absence among different groups of pupils, in particular:

  • Disadvantaged pupils.
  • Pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds.
  • Pupils with SEND and those clinically vulnerable to Covid-19.
  • Pupils in alternative provision.

A big question is how the government can better support schools and families to improve attendance. This includes asking what the impact will be of the DfE’s proposed reforms to improve attendance.

The inquiry will also ask how the Holiday Activities and Food programme, breakfast clubs and Free School Meals are improving attendance and engagement with school.

So if this issue affects your family, you know why it happens and you have thoughts on how the DfE can help you, this is a chance for you to share your views.

How to share your experience

If you want to share your experiences of dealing with persistent absence from school, respond to the call for evidence online.

You have until 23:59 on Thursday 9 February to share your views.